Children under 18 can represent over 50% of a crisis-affected population. If an appropriate sanitation response is to be designed for disaster-affected populations then the specific needs and concerns of children must be clearly understood. If not addressed properly, inappropriate sanitation facilities can lead children to practice open defecation, which poses serious health risks to lives already at risk.
Additionally, child participation in sanitation design is rarely user-centred. Children are often only consulted, rather than engaged through participatory collaboration. Further challenges exist around including the most marginalised groups, ensuring safe participation and accounting for existing socio-cultural sanitation norms and practices.
User-centred child-friendly sanitation facilities have the potential to significantly impact the health of displaced populations. Our two pilot projects will engage children aged 5-12 and their caregivers, in displacement camps, through iterative, user-centred engagement. Over 12 weeks, we will capture children and caregiver pain points and preferences through two interactive surveys and design improvement ideas together with the community during a co-creation session.
Digital engagement I: Initial survey conducted in camp household. The survey will capture sanitation pain points and preferences through interactive illustrations of sanitation designs, smiley face scales and closed-questions.
Co-creation session: Using data from the survey, we will explore pain points in more depth, understand current sanitation behaviours and propose and rank design improvements. Community input will influence sanitation design alterations, from minor structural changes to new constructions.
Digital engagement II: Second survey to measure satisfaction with alterations and collect final feedback. This will inform final updates.
The outcome will be a methodology that can be applied in rapid-onset emergencies to inform the design of latrines and sanitation facilities that are usable and safe for both adults and children. We will publish our methodology in a summary report to support the development of best practices around the impact user-centred principles and tools have on sanitation provision and use.
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